QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR MENTOR
how to make the most out of a career-defining relationship
Sure, you’re well aware your new mentor is a Big Deal, and that their time is precious – so don’t waste the opportunity. In addition to getting their advice about your own career, here are some absolute musts to ask them:
WHAT DOES A DAY IN YOUR LIFE LOOK LIKE?
Knowing the nitty-gritty of what your mentor does gives a more rounded idea of life in their shoes – not just the reality of their nine-to-five existence, but what you should expect from the roles and lifestyle that you might one day hope to step into.
WHAT GOALS HAVE YOU SET AND HOW ARE YOU WORKING TO REACH THEM?
As someone who’s successful and done the work to achieve some of their professional aims, who better to ask about kicking career and life goals?
WHAT’S YOUR MOST EFFECTIVE DAILY HABIT?
You never know what little tidbit you might pick up.
WHAT ARE YOU BEST AT AND HOW DID YOU BECOME COMPETENT IN THIS AREA?
There’s a reason this person has reached a high enough level for you to ask them to become your mentor – what is it about them that helps them succeed? And how can you develop these skills for yourself?
WHAT WERE SOME OF YOUR FORMER WEAKNESSES? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
This question won’t only act as a way of strengthening any similar weaknesses you see in yourself, it also tells you whether your mentor is an open and candid person, willing to reveal and share both the positives and negatives of life experience.
WHAT ARE SOME LESSONS YOU’VE HAD TO LEARN THE HARD WAY?
Nip future mistakes in the bud with this question – and get an insight into how others turn a perceived failure into a jumping-off point for growth.
WHAT POSITIVE THING DO YOU SEE IN ME THAT I NEED TO FOCUS ON DEVELOPING?
You’re asking for them to assess your strengths and, whatever they see in you, hold onto that and develop it further.